tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 10, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by me, after consultation with senator mcconnell, the senate proceed to consideration of calendar number 438, s. 2244, that the committee-reported amendments be aged to, the bill as amended be considered original text for the purposes of further amendment, that the only amendments in order to the bill be coburn 3549, vitter 3550, flake 3551, tester 3552. that each amendment have an hour
of debate equally divided between the proponents and opponents, and there be one hour of general debate on the bill equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. that upon the use or yielding back of that time the senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed. that there be no second-degree amendments in the order -- in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes. that upon disposition of the tester amendment, the bill be read a third time, consent to proceed to vote on passage of the bill as amended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: so, mr. president, we understand that getting this agreement, senators should expect a roll call vote in relation to the coburn amendment, another roll call vote on passage of the bill as amended. other amendments in this agreement are expected to be subject to voice votes. mr. president, we whipped right through this very quickly, but it is an extremely important piece of work that was done on a bipartisan basis, on a very, very important piece of legislation. we have to do this. this terrorism insurance.
with all the things going on in the world, if we do not finish this, there will be no construction in america. we went through this a number of years ago, our construction came to a screeching halt. it was bad enough. but with this not being able to be done, it made it even worse. so we were very fortunate, mr. president, we could complete that. we will complete it next week but complete this u.c. agreement. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to a period of morning business with senators allowed to speak for 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 447. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 447, s. 1104, a bill to measure the progress of recovery and development efforts in haiti following the earthquake of january 12, 2010, and for other
purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate shall proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i -- mr. president, i don't know of any further debate on this bill. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate on the bill, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say yea. hearing and seeing -- the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed. mr. reid: i ask consent that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 268. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 268, s. 653, a bill to provide for the establishment of a special envoy to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the near east and south central asia. the presiding officer: is there
objection? seeing no objection, without objection, the senate shall proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the blunt agreement which is at the desk be agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i personally don't know of any more debate on this matter. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate on this matter, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. -- nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed as amended. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of calendar numbers 454-457, which are all post office naming bills. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the bills be read a third time and passed en bloc and the moses to reconsider -- motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening
action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the senate now proceed to calendar number 380. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 380, senate resolution 412, reaffirming the strong support of the united states government for freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace in the asia-pacific region and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection? seeing no objection, without objection, the senate shall proceed to the measure. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask that the committee-reported amendment to the resolution be agreed to, the menendez amendment to the resolution which is at the desk be agreed to, the paul amendment be agreed to, which is at the desk, the resolution as amended be agreed to. further, that the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the menendez amendment to the preamble at the desk be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to and finally the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i want to take just a little bit of time to say a few things about
the health care bill. the shrill cries from the other side have lessened in recent weeks and obviously for good reason. "the new york times" reports today -- i'm not going to read the whole column but i'll read quite a bit. it says now, less than 15% of adults younger than 65 now lack health insurance. down from 20% before the affordable care act rolled out in january. in fact, mr. president, we have information from the gallup organization today that came out after this "new york times" article that the rate is down to 13.4%. it's the lowest quarterly average recorded since gallup began tracking the percentage of uninsured americans. that's pretty good. the uninsured rate has decreased
sharply, says the gallup group. since the affordable care act's requirement for most americans to have health insurance went into effect at the beginning of 2014. so, mr. president, in the fourth quarter of 2013, the average was 17.1%. it's now down to 13.4%. this is remarkable. now, mr. president, carrying on with the information about -- from "the new york times." the people who've gotten new coverage -- we heard all the cries about how upset the people were, that -- with the new health insurance. but they're very happy with the new product. 73% of the people who bought health care plans, 80% of those who signed up for the medicaid said they were either very satisfied or very -- or somewhat satisfied.
that's 73%. with their new health insurance. 74% of newly insured republicans like their plans. 77% of the people who had insurance before, including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year, are happy with their new coverage. this survey also said that a majority of people are using their new insurance. they like it, they're glad they have it. people are -- that have the insurance, they're going to the doctor, they're going to the hospital and most people seeking new primary care doctors found the process easy and had to wait less than two weeks for an appointment. and 60% said they wouldn't have been able to afford the care without the new coverage. mr. president, these statistics are really staggering and our goal is closed by saying there's
reason to think that the good feelings may linger. a associated press poll in january found that 73% of all americans with insurance before the rollout overall were satisfied. so we're really doing very well, mr. president. there hasn't been, as we hear the people -- my republican colleagues come to the floor and say, "oh, this is just awful. people are so upset." it just simply is not true. and this is not my opinion, it's statistics and facts. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. monday, july 14. that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date,
the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 6:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each until then. there be no roll call votes during monday's session. the next roll call vote will begin at 12:00 noon on tuesday, july 15. those will be cloture votes on bay and lefleur to be members of the federal energy and regulatory commission. mr. president, if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate shall stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m.
speaking to capano reporter senate democrats talked about the bill to reverse the supreme court's recent hobby lobby decision exempting some private companies from the contraception mandate in the affordable care act. beginning with colorado senator mark udall, this is 20 minutes. >> senator udall. >> thank you senator reid. let me kick off the press conference by discussing the hobby lobby decision and our
reaction here in the democratic caucus to that decision to the supreme court's decision to allow some employers to refuse to cover contraception as part of employees health insurance policy was wrong and misguided. coloradans understand women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services. the men and women who went to work for hobby lobby signed up to work for a craft store not a religious organization and with up to 90% of american companies considered closely held the hobby lobby decision means millions of working americans access to critical health services may be threatened. my not your bosses business bill something that murray and i have introduced has given power to health decisions based on what's for her and her family not according to the employer's personal police. the bill will level the economic playing field for women to the
same train court's decision unfairly burdens hard-working women ignoring the fact that contraception can be crucial to women and the family's economic success. and finally contrary to what supporters of the decision are saying this isn't just about contraceptives. the supreme court's hobby lobby decision could lead to employers discriminating against women and minorities than any other groups with particular types of medications or procedures such as vaccinations. we must take steps now to push back and ensure that women can make their own health care decisions. i'm going to keep fighting to ensure that women have access to affordable birth control and not forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical services that they have already paid for as a part of their compensation package. america's women have let us know that women's health care is not your bosses business. senator murray. >> thank you so much for all
your work on the senator udall. really appreciate it. as he said last week five male justices gave their blessing to ceos and corporations across america to go ahead and deny legally mandated health care coverage for their employees and when that news broke i was outraged and i was just one of millions of people in this country who were shocked and angry. contraception has always been between a woman, her partner, her doctor and her faith. now, by the way the time when 99% of the women in the u.s. have used birth control those five justices decided that a woman's boss also has a say. so today these women are looking to us and they are demanding a change and it is not just women who wants congress to act. people across the country understand that if bosses can deny birth-control, they can deny back scenes or hiv
treatment or other basic health care services that their employees or their independents the plan -- rely on and i think what men and women understand as well that is not just for female employees who are impacted here. it's their wives and their daughters who are on their health care plan so just like many of the people all of us heard over the holiday weekend, we have heard from people that are tired of being targeted and are looking to congress now to right this wrong by the supreme court. as senator udall said our bill, but not my bosses business act, would ensure that no ceo or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care period end of story. as we move forward on this i'm hopeful that republicans can put group in science over partisan politics and join us to revoke this court issued license to discriminate and returned the right of americans to make their own decisions about their own
health care in their own bodies. just as cecile richards from planned parenthood put it so eloquently yesterday, the bottom line is women use birth control for a host of reasons none of which should require a permission slip from their boss. for women, the only controversy about birth control is the fact that it is 2014 and we are still fighting for basic health care in this country. so i want to thank senator udall and all of our leadership in the members of our caucus for working with us on this. common sense bicameral legislation. >> senator durbin. >> it's been my opportunity to interrogate, question supreme court judicial nominees. two of them who were party to this decision that was handed down an hobby lobby have come before the senate judiciary committee and the asked the same basic question to each of them. it's a question i went back to a
moment in american history that most younger people probably don't even believe. it was a moment in american history about 50 years ago when states prohibited the sale of contraceptives and that case was brought before the supreme court griswold versus connecticut. the supreme court said that the right of privacy of individuals and families trumps any state right to ban contraceptives. it was a breakthrough. they found privacy at least the inference of privacy in the constitution and i asked the question repeatedly of justice roberts and justice alito to make sure that they would honor that same tradition of privacy, the hobby lobby decision violates that fundamental premise. the premise that a woman, her family, her doctor interface should be involved in this decision not her employer. i think senator schumer is going
to address the religious restoration act. we never envisioned the distorted position taken by the court when we consider that measure years ago. we believe and i think every american believes you are entitled to your own religious beliefs. you are protected in her own religious beliefs under the constitution but you are not entitled to impose your religious beliefs on another person and that is what this court has sanctioned with the hobby lobby decision. if we are talking about religious freedom, we are talking about the freedom of every individual and family and that decision violated that basic theme. let me say one last point. for those who are arguing that this has something to do with the issue of abortion, we know that contraception, family planning are critical to avoid unplanned pregnancies. the more unplanned pregnancies there are, the greater likelihood of more abortions so those who want to limit the
number of abortions should understand. family planning and contraception are key -- contraception are key to that goal in this hobby lobby decision does not help. >> thank you when first i want to thank senators udall and murray for their great leadership in drafting this critical bill. as the author of the religious freedom restoration act, i can say with absolute certainty the supreme court got the hobby lobby case dead wrong. when we wrote back in 1993 i was a house member. i was the lead sponsor in the house and senate are kid and he was the lead sponsor in the senate. when we wrote rifra in 1993 we did so to protect individuals with strong religious beliefs and give them the presumption they have always enjoyed, that they should be able to exercise their religious beliefs without interference from the government. the court took that and applied it, misapplied it, to for-profit
companies who exist for the purpose of benefiting from the open law working in the marketplace under our laws. now think of the difference. you have to obey the precepts of their religion into government gives you a wide penumbra. you don't have to form a corporation. we wouldn't tell the owners of hobby lobby to convert to a different religion or disobey their religion. but we don't say that they have to open up the company and go sell toys or hobby kids. we don't have any of them in new york i don't think so i don't know what they exactly sell. but the court took the protection and misapplied it. without a doubt, the religious freedom restoration act was written to apply it only to individuals, not corporations and the supreme court went way
beyond the bounds of the law's intent, applying this case more broadly to corporations is a perversion of our original intent and only serves to put women's health care choices in the hands of her boss. the supreme court's cavalier decision to grant religious rites to closely held corporations, which operate at their own volition, could curtail the health care freedom of women at as many as 90% of american businesses because if the court could go so far as to applied this law to corporations what prevents them from going beyond the closely held corporations? that is why we are here today. fighting for this bill to reverse the supreme court's decision, both foolish and dangerous. the bill makes it clear the court heard in their application
of rifra and it is illegal for any business to deny their workers health benefits that are required under federal law and it does so while maintaining the protection for churches, different houses of worship, and individuals that object to providing contraception is because of their religious beliefs. the bill is a reasonable and measured response to a devastating court decision. it would apply to businesses to operate in the open public market. but not private churches who exist to facilitate the practice of religion. when we put the bill on the floor next week i hope some of our republican colleagues will support this appropriate response that makes the original intent of the law that had overwhelming support from both parties. senator reid.
>> on espn every week they have the 10 best place in the 10 worst plays. we don't have to do this every week but let's take it over period of decades. this decision, this hobby lobby decision would be at the top. it is a horrible decision, certainly the worst in the last 25 years. i am so disappointed as i said before in justice roberts. alito told us who he was. we let it go. roberts didn't -- misdirected us. he's certainly been a disappointment to us. it's wrong for five men to decide what happens to women in
america. every woman deserves the same access to medical care regardless of their boss is. women should be free to make their own health decisions with their families and their docto doctors. their bosses should be nowhere near these kinds of decisions. when it comes to a woman's personal health, and those decisions she has to make bosses shouldn't be in the same room and they shouldn't be in the same zip code. the murray udall bill is so very important. what senator udall and murray have done is exemplary how we should react to something that's really bad in the hobby lobby decision is really bad. this will restore women's access to medical care. we are going to take this bill up next week. >> senator reid on a separate matter the crisis happening on
the border, some democrats in the house are saying that this 2008 law has to be reversed and the white house is suggesting -- can you stomach the reversal of the act of 2008? >> first of all everyone understand this, if the comprehensive immigration reform bill had passed which was put together by two people right behind me, we wouldn't have this. we would be free of so many different issues including reduction of our debt by a trillion dollars. so, senator mikulski is holding a hearing this afternoon. my preference would be to pass the bill in a stand-alone bill. it's emergency spending and there are provisions in, with this money. we can do all kinds of things.
we can go after the coyotes. we can go after the drug cartels and we can take care of these children. these children should be treated as humanely as humanly possible and america sets the standard for being able to take care of children in the right way. >> are you going to block anything? >> know i'm not going to block anything. i told you that my preferences. i think there are people making a lot of excuses as they have done for a year to do something productive or it would be productive as it that leads to the border problems to give us, give the administration the money so we can start going after these bad guys. >> senator udall. can i ask you sir what is your reaction to the top u.s. intelligence -- germany and how concerned are you about the ramifications of that? >> i am concerned as we all are.
we are going to have a classified briefing on the matter. i am concerned that we are sending the wrong message to a key ally which is germany. >> senator durbin. to follow up on the last question leader pelosi said earlier that although she does not want to see the 2008 law amended that she would accept that passing the supplemental. is that your view? >> my response would be let's see what the house does and we will see what mikulski does and act accordingly. my main concern are the kids. i'm sorry, senator durbin. >> sir do you think justice alito or justice roberts testified -- [inaudible] >> while they are very careful in their answers that they both said they stood by the griswold decision which enshrined the basic right of privacy and
having them from many of those hearings i know that they are careful in their language but that hobby lobby decision was a direct violation of that right of privacy which we all value. i think it was a disappointment and the reason i ask's conservative nominees like those that specific question because i knew that it really went to the heart of many issues relating to women's rights. >> a number of you has spoken about the impacts of women with hobby lobby. do any of you have any opinion about the -- [inaudible] >> i'm glad you asked the question because i'm standing here and we talk about vaccines and we talk about other issues. i think it speaks volumes when we have the majority of the groups that support these issues that are so important to america today who are saying they are not interested in doing anything because they believe the supreme court decision is headed in the
wrong direction and is going to make things worse for them rather than better. we have made so much progress in these years. this hobby lobby decision has so many direct adverse -- is hurting so many different peop people. we can't even see the tip of the iceberg today as to what's going to happen. it's a terrible decision. yes. >> the justice department has said you were not opening the allegations of spying on the senate by the cia or the other side of that. your reaction and senator udall you are on the intelligence community so do you have any comments? >> my reaction is what went on there i felt we handled in the appropriate way. we turned it over to somebody who would give as we thought the
sergeant at arms i think the sergeant at arms did a good job. we disagree with what the cia did to my senators was wrong. i'm going to drop it at that. mark you are on that committee. what do you want to say? >> as the leader mentioned the sergeant at arms has been passed with taking an objective look at what happened. i still believe that the cia's entry into our computers was unacceptable and perhaps even unconstitutional. we shouldn't let this stop until we have some fundamental resolutions what happened. this wasn't the first time this occurred and the division of powers in our nation's constitution is at some risk here. it's an unfortunate incident in our history but at the heart of this is still to declassify the committee's report on the rendition enhanced interrogation techniques at that the cia engaged in the last decade. >> is hard not to notice that
the last bill on the senate floor was offered by kay hagan. this bill on top of it and the next one coming from john walsh's bill. how much politics is involved in the choice of what you are putting on the senate floor? >> let's talk about the -- bill. we had 26 democratic -- i'm sorry 26 republican co-sponsors, 26 mlb did was get this unique thing that's been going on for decades here in the senate. give us a list of amendments. they did not give us a list of amendments on the sportsman's bill and they can give us one with so much fighting amongst themselves. i'm hobby lobby, mark udall has an exemplary record on issues dealing with women's health. it's part of the issue going on in colorado.
it would be political malpractice if we did not react the way we have dealing with this horrible decision made by the supreme court and patty murray as i've said before and i don't intend to embarrass her in a number of meetings we have had lately, no one is more helpful to the democratic caucus than patty murray. she is truly one of our leader so if anybody criticizes these two people for leaving something that is so entirely appropriate that it's too bad for them. >> i would just add one thing. senator udall who was the first senator who called me and said let's work on a legislative fix to this. that is why we are jointly cosponsoring this legislation. >> thank you.
that's the nation's largest teachers union and has made plenty of headlines after calling for education secretary arne duncan to step down. dennis van roekel wyatt is on a dunk and need to step down? >> guest: i think the real story is not new but why and educators across this country are so frustrated. they are frustrated with billion-dollar high-stakes testw taking 30% of all the teaching time with students. they are frustrated with 12 years of no child left behind all due to testing, a failed accountability system that is not close the gap and is creating a greater inequity than ever before and they are frustrated with a whole new onslaught of teacher evaluations where 70% of teachers are evaluated on test scores of students they don't teach. i think that's welling think that's willing up and they are looking for leadership to say we are going in the wrong direction and we should change this. >> host: you talk about years
of frustration. what was the tipping point for this but that happened in the >> guest: i think the california case. >> host: if you can explain that case. >> guest: is a a case where students brought forward a lawsuit saying that they were not getting what they needed in that school and the lawsuit was brought to eliminate due process for teachers to eliminate any seniority and layoffs and it was so wrongheaded because the kids they are, the students there really do have some legitimate needs and this will do nothing. i mean it's a sad thing. if you really care about kids, if you really want to make a difference for those kids in california invest that money in early childhood education. that will make a difference. in best and learning conditions. three weeks ago i was in a school in new jersey in trenton new jersey. 300 kids in the building. there are two bathrooms, one for the boys, one for the girls and
the basement. the hallway in the basement where they line up to pick up their food from serving tables and then go into the dingy lunchroom. if it rains the hallway floods. those are conditions of learning that need to be changed and if you really want to change something to change the that instead of hiring people who are untrained, uncertified and nonlicensed and putting them in a classroom start requiring that they have to be licensed. >> host: the nea didn't like the outcome of the case but also to mike secretary duncan's response. >> guest: it's so sad to me. you hire licensed contractors. when you go into medical center you assume both of those are license people to practice medicine and yet in this country you can send it kids to a school especially with its high poverty and schools of color and many of those educators are not licensed to teach. it's wrong and i don't know why we tolerated. >> host: what didn't you like and secretary duncan's response? >> guest: he said it's time to
solve the problem. due process is that simply after 35 years depending on the state were at the end of any year they can simply say we are not hiring you for next year. after that three to five years you have the right to due process meaning they have to tell you a reason they are dismissing you and give you the right to a hearing. so that timmy is not the problem they are trying to solve there. what we ought to be looking for is how do we make sure that every single person who is the teacher of record is has fully trained, certified and licensed? i always say it's quality at the front door the professional ready on day one. >> host: on the segment of the "washington journal" we have special phone lines and there've been now. parents (202)585-388 (202)585-3d educators (202)585-3881 2-025-81 administrators 202-58-3582 and although there's the numbers (202)585-3883.
we are talking about the naa's call in the past week or education secretary arne duncan to step down. he actually responded in a white house briefing to that call for his resignation. here's a bit of what he had to say. >> the naa seems to be pending some of its frustration on his policies on you directly and voted in the last couple of days to call for your resignation. i wonder if you can respond to that call and their broader concerns about the policies. >> i think most teachers do and we have had a good working relationship with india in the past. we have worked together on national labor management summit conference every single year. as you know they elected a new president and we wish you the best of luck and we look forward to working with her closely as we move forward. >> host: is this union politics? >> guest: what he said is really important. he said we have had a good
relationship. from the beginning of president thomas relationship with secretary duncan i've always said we don't disagree on what we want for every student in america. i think we are in total sink, in sync on that. where sometimes we disagree is on how to achieve that. i think that's a good discussion. i think when two parties who are trying to achieve the same thing have a good rich discussion out of that can come better ideas. so i don't see it as problematic that we disagree a on how. i think what's most important is that we agree on what we need for all kids in america, excellence and equity. i served on the task force for excellence and equity and secretary duncan was very supportive of that. so i really believed that the more we talk about the how we can come to better solutions to achieve our common purposes. >> host: secretary duncan has been in his job about as long as you have been present at the naa. what is your personal relationship with him? >> guest: well is a good one.
>> host: even after this past week? >> guest: i think it will remain the same. we have disagreed on issues and he knows where i am and i know where he is. i very purposefully don't disagree with him necessarily by talking to reporter when i have an opportunity to see him face to face and tell him why her members are upset or angry with specific policies or actions. i think that's the best way to do that. >> host: you said the tipping point came after this california court ruling. secretary duncan's approval applauding the california court ruling was something that the nea particularly disagreed with. there is a piece by jason riley in "the wall street journal" talking about the california court ruling. the headline are ready for arne duncan. i wanted to get you to respond to this. jason riley writes in his speech that the job protections pushed by the teachers union are perfect example of how powerful groups like the nea but the adults at the students while claiming to do the opposite.
there is no educational justification for getting a teacher at job for life and making it next to impossible to fire based on performance. after just a couple of years in the classroom these policies are a born bassist and he is public education is a jobs program first and foremost. >> guest: totally inaccurate. number one would we have in terms of due process is not a job for life, just as in. i think they sometimes confuse it with higher education and tenure is very different than what we have. the second thing is i believe that from a student's point of view number one we need a good process that is fair and efficient in terms of cost and time to remove people from classrooms who shouldn't be there but it's just as important to a student that we have a process that allows good teachers to remain and not be removed for bad reasons. the history of the due process clause comes way before there were education unions. in my own state of arizona many years before and the reason
those came forward is because of the abuse of the system. the superintendent would get angry with a teacher or for nepotism get the job to a friend or a relative and dismiss them for totally arbitrary reasons. that is why those laws came into place. to protect good teachers from being fired for bad reasons. again i will go back to in any system whether you are talking about business or whatever turnover should be low. if there is high turnover is a problem the system that you are not hiring or training to people well and so in education those who keep talking about we need to fire more, we need to have higher turnover and think they are totally wrong. i think the way you build the profession is to ensure that no one gets and who is not professionally ready on day one. you build in a good valuation system with professional development so it grows from day one until the last day of the classroom. that's how you build a profession in quality. you can't fire your way to
success. >> host: again we are we are talking about about going nea president dennis van roekel been on the job six years now here to answer questions. take your comments on the nea. we will start on our line for parents. business lines in the session. parents can call (202)585-3880 and educators (202)585-3881. all others (202)585-3883. william is calling in from california as a parent. william good morning. >> caller: yes, good morning. i would like to get a solid answer from your guest on why our used up through high school as my kids are are so absolutely blind to our nation's geography? name a few states in the union please. and if your colors for that matter. we need to focus on the united
states, our nation's geography, resources. maybe that will spark something in this youth and when they get to be adults they can name more than three states in the union. >> guest: william i was a high school math teacher for 23 years. i loved as teenagers. i knew when i started teaching that was age group i wanted to be with. your point is one that we are troubled by ourselves in education. in the 12 year since no child left behind but we have seen is a narrowing of the curriculum. as the emphasis became more and more on the math and language arts tests we saw civics, history and geography sadly being diminished in importance and sometimes not even offered any longer. you bring up a great point. we have to educate the whole child. we need a rich full curriculum that incorporates not only history science mathematics and in english but also the arts, drama, physical education. we believe we need a comprehensive solid curriculum
for all students. >> host: this call for geography education by william coming at a time when there's so much focus on stem education the science technology engineering and math. >> guest: yeah and some of them now call it steam. science technology and they put arts in there for the a. i believe we have to think about the purpose of education. it's really about educating the whole child. part of its academic and part of that sect within the system and part of it is your civic responsibility and then there's this whole part about meeting all the students needs. parents who came into seamy winches and how they were doing academically but there was more. they wanted to know that they were happy at school and that they got along with others and it was enjoyable for them. i think our focus has to be far more student centered on the whole child and not this narrow little piece of mathematics among which arts. >> host: along with being present at the nsa -- nea dennis van roekel. >> guest: i spent 23 years in
high school as a math teacher. >> host: a parent and educator calling from miami florida. betty, good morning. betty are r. u. with us? >> caller: yes, i am. my name is betty oliver and i'm calling here from south florida. i am a parent, always will be because we have generations and we have grandchildren. the thing about having grandchildren -. >> host: go ahead with your question. >> caller: okay. i used to work in miami-dade public school and ended up having a brain aneurysm. the point i'm trying to make is i just heard where mr. van roekel just spoke about certificates and degrees and everything. he feels that the person -.
>> host: that he don't listen to your tv. just go ahead with your question. >> caller: i'm just talking about and educators and administrators. it's an port and you have a degree with certain documents that i can say certain people peoples -- certain people have degrees. i worked in the dade county public schools. do not discriminate a dense the person who may not have a certificate at the time or can't apply to them. yes education is important but do not judge people on the knowledge that they have because they are coming into the system. do not take away this man's job because he feels that this man to dignify himself when he came to education. >> host: mr. van roekel i will let you respond. >> guest: i graduated from college with a degree from
mathematica. i could've gone into engineering accounting actuarial science or the teaching of asthmatics and i chose teaching. just as i don't believe i can do any job that requires a degree in math i also don't believe anyone with a degree in math and do what i do. so i agree with you, it's not just the degree, it's not just the education but that is part of it. to me it's the ground floor. i don't want anyone in the classroom who doesn't have a content knowledge but in addition to that i also want them to have the professional skills it takes to create a learning environment. you know i've dealt with 160 kids every single day. i give them feedback on their performance at a minimum once a week. between every single class i was interacting with students to touch base with them to see how their world was going outside of my math class. those are all skills you develop over time and with good training. so i think it's a combination in the content knowledge is that there's a whole set of special skills that individuals need to
be taught and required before allowing them to be a teacher. >> host: eight comment from rob who is watching this segment. he's as part of a problem with public education is the students are taught what to think rather than how to think. we are talking with the outgoing nea president dennis van roekel. jerome is up next. jerome is apparent. good morning jerome. >> caller: good morning. it's strange that we are putting all the blame on the teachers and the parent has no responsibility. i have kids and i inculcate in them the importance of a solid education. another thing the children are not prepared to learn when they go to school because their parents don't discipline the kids enough.
they are not preparing them for an education. >> guest: jerome i really like your comment. the real task and i think the real secret to success in education includes a real partnership ankle aberration between the parent and the teachers. when i was a teacher, when i talk to parents and i would say to them you know things about your son or daughter that i don't know and i know things that you don't know and the more we converse, the more we collaborate and talk the better we are both able to help the student. but it is important that they come to school ready to learn and there's an atmosphere that can be created at home so i thank you for your comments. >> host: i want to come back to the call for the resignation of arne duncan. here is valerie strauss' piece in the "washington post" talking about duncan's response to that call and what he said. she writes duncan can try to downplay that it signals the advent of the more active as nea. nobody should expect duncan to take the nba's advice in her sinus he continues to have the
support of the president keeps rolling out initiatives in an effort to help momentum to keep momentum up for his reform agenda by the nea focus and a sign of growing disenchantment with duncan's policies from the unions and well beyond them. >> guest: i agree this frustration and anger is really coming in is not as coming from educators. as you look and read the news from day-to-day and week to week there is a new groundswell coming. for example in new york the number of parents who are opting their students out of this high-stakes toxic testing went from 1,630,000 in one year. state legislature the first one was california, the most recent was rhode island who said we are no longer going to use these test scores for high-stakes decisions. i think it's not any different for our members and around the country. 12 years as a long time. it has not worked. it is still the students. >> host: her comments about a more active this nea and can you talk about the political and balm and of the nea? >> guest: i think we are
becoming more and more vocal. we have over the last three years about the use of testing and test scores. we have become, we have been very vocal about the value-added models. i don't believe they work to do what they say. researchers almost on a weekly basis come out and say it's not reliable, it's not valid. we filed a lawsuit in florida two years ago where for teachers who are being evaluated based on scores of students they didn't ever meet or teach. now there's something wrong with that system. one was a first grade teacher and she was was teacher that your one year and next year she got an unsatisfactory valuation. 50% of that of valuation was based on fourth and fifth grade students in a different elementary school. the more that is happening, the more the anger and dissatisfaction wells up in his appearance, as with legislators comments with educators, i think the system will collapse and
fall. i don't think it's a question of when or if it will collapse. it's only a question of when. the real thing that is the most important to me is when we sleep that aside, this high-stakes standardized testing accountability system and instead we put in its place and accountability system that drives equity, that deals with school readiness, that deals with the conditions of learning, that deals with high standards in a rich and robust curriculum and deals with a quality workforce that's the way to change what's happening with kids in america. >> host: do you think the nea under willy a school send garcia who will be your successor is going to be more willing than it has in the past to get politically involved for candidates who view the education system in that way that you just described? >> guest: we will remain very active in the political arena. as a teacher what brought me into the union was that i was teaching and i realized very
quickly that almost all the decisions that impacted my students remained outside politically appointed or elected so we will continue that. willie garcia will be in a credible spokesperson. she is going to take this to new heights. i have high expectations for and i expect her to race -- exceed them. >> host: bill as a teacher. bill, good morning. >> caller: yeah i have been a teacher and a parent. my biggest concern in southern california relates to the incredible rules it takes to get someone fired. if they are caught committing a misdemeanor or a felony in the classroom you have four and five years of paid leave before any action can be taken. if the nea wants to take a stand in that area i mean that to me is outrageous. >> guest: absolutely, bill. no one wants an effective are bad teachers in the classroom
especially us so we have come out very strongly that you need to have a fair and equitable system both the employer and the employee. it shouldn't take four years. it should be no more than a year but we also believe that someone not to be informed of what their deficiency is and give it a chance to improve. if they can't or won't they should move. there are examples across the country where in collaboration with developed good both dismissal procedures but more importantly the valuation systems that help every teacher grow every single day. i tot 23 years. i think my best years were my last nine. i think based on the premium i've received, i have my masters degree, those were great years my last nine and that to me is in every career. most people when they hired a doctor her lawyer they don't look for someone in their first year. they want experience because they know professionals grow with experience. that is what we need to have for
education. make sure we have process and the people who shouldn't be their number two ensure no one gets and who shouldn't be there number three of the system in place that they grow up a single day in their career. >> host: ttu writes in green with one of our previous colors of the parent component is not where it should be than a teacher will fail to teach. let's go to wireline fridman as traders. richard is waiting in austin, texas. richard, good morning. richard are you with us? we will go to josh on the line for all others calling in from milford connecticut. josh, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> host: go ahead josh. we can hear you josh, go ahead. we will go to scranton pennsylvania on the line for parents. donald is waiting. donald, good morning. >> caller: i have two comments. one i think the school year is way too short. 180 days is not enough when you look at the countries around the
world and how they are doing compared to us. second there is too much politics in schools hiring. around here i can tell you for sure if you have someone on the school board or related to somebody on the school board to have a job. that's my comment. thank you. >> host: politics and school hiring. >> guest: i think that's one of the reasons it's so important we develop the system of how we recruit train and hire individuals. they should be people who are professionally ready. i think any system when you let those other factors influence it is always a system that is not good for kids. >> host: how widespread is that in your experience in watching the politics he's talking about? >> guest: i think it's less than it was years ago but still very much real. >> host: let's go to st. thomas the virgin islands. mike is apparent. good morning, you are on with dennis van roekel of the
national education association. >> caller: politics in hiring. politics basically controls what's going on in hiring and secondly there was a case in california where basically they were showing the teachers that went to lower income districts, this is a problem because it created -- schools to prison pipeline. if you look at this the people that are gaining from this is the correction corporation of america. low income neighborhoods that are filled with latinos and blacks -- [inaudible] >> guest: mike makes a very important point. if you look across this country
where untrained or uncertified around licensed teachers are, way too often the majority of those individuals are in schools where there are students of poverty and many times students of color -- should not be that way at all. i think it's absolutely essential that we reverse that. secretary duncan just came out with a program about excellence for all educators in one of the things they are calling upon the states to develop the plan in what you are going to do. that's a very positive first step. we have to change that and we can't have a revolving door in those schools. i have friends who taught an inner city for years and they come in one of the most important factors is knowing the community, knowing the families. in time to get better and better because you know people. that's a really important point you bring up. the second is on the school to prison pipeline i couldn't agree with you more. one of the things we have seen. >> host: explained that a little bit more. >> guest: what we do is look
at policies of the local level that get kids in the system and it makes it more probable that they end up in prison. example, we are starting to put put more police among campuses for security. if the student misbehaves in class and is sent to the office and deals with a correctional officer, a policeman they are already in that system. that's not what it should be. we can't have kids in the judicial system because they misbehaved in my class. what we need to do is to look at those factors and say how do we impact back? what are the policies that we have to change to ensure that kids aren't disproportionately punished or suspended or expelled and what is it that is causing bad and do something about it. my frustration with the test scores in the last 12 years is that i already know after 12 years just which students are not getting the education i believe they deserve.
they keep given the same scores. what i want to know is what you willing to do about it? what are you willing to change? what programs are you going to institute? what resources we give so that we can change that cycle of what's happening to kids. accountability to me is not about naming the test scores. accountability is what did you do to change that? is a teacher if my student is getting a d and why want them up just tell them they're great as a d does not do anything. the question is what is it that my student and i can do together to raise that up and out to be about the system. >> host: a minute ago you name the program by arne duncan that he seemed to like. if arne duncan were to step down as the nea has called for him to do after you thought about who you would like to see replace him? >> guest: no, it's more about the policies and the foo. it's more about what is our focus going to be at the federal
educational policy. i think we need to get away from these competitive grants where there are winners and losers. i think education from its very beginning has always been about creating a level playing field to lift people up from elementary secondary education signed by president johnson to the individual disabilities education act, all of those things were to lift up those who are being left behind. so is if the policies more so than the person. >> host: scot in michigan is next and brian is on our line for all others. brian you are on. >> caller: can you hear me? >> host: jena brian, go ahead. >> caller: i have spoken on this before and i want to speak on it again. if you really want to educate young people what you need to do is look at how the navy in their training approaches subject matter. they break down the course that
the senate had 16 weeks, four months. every week you have a quiz dennis. you have a quiz and it's usually 20 to 25 questions. if you don't score 72, guess what? you repeat that again. you may think it's under pressure and it's not. they will adapt to it and a lot of people i've spoken to agree. so please take a look at they made these a schools and see how they approach and see what you can learn from it. the beauty of that is at the end of the semester whatever we are talking about is you don't have a big test. he does have another quiz. now you know and you will have kids more and gauge then. >> host: can i ask you in your scenario what happens if a child keeps failing that quiz? >> guest: >> caller: afield one because i had to come home for a funeral and i've missed a couple of days
for study and you have to go through the week again. it's the same teachings. you are going to pick it up. by the middle of the next week i was actually helped by my fellow students. i didn't feel like i failed. i just feel like i needed to do a little bit more studying. >> host: mr. van roekel? >> guest: o'brien brings up a really important point. thank you brian. what you describe pretty much as how i approach teaching. there was not a week that went by that i didn't provide some sort of a quiz to my students because they need to know where they were and i need to know where they were. that's what's so different from these high-stakes standardized e there was this one test given a one-day gear and everything was based on that. it makes no sense. my students in a geometry class if they'll do poorly on a quiz i don't want to the next section are too. i need to figure out what's stopping them from succeeding in taker that.
that is the philosophy of education but i will look into specifically the navy's a school to see what i might pick up a map. >> host: potomac maryland, lane is apparent. lane, good morning. >> caller: good morning, thank you for a hault -- having made. i'm a first-time caller. i'm involved in the pta. i have the ability to oversee and coordinate with asia as well as other countries. i have a comment and also a question at the end. what i see is what people are talking about closing the gap, it's very important and noble goal but on the other hand --
my question is the following. there are a lot of parents who are well-educated. i'm just wondering, we have seen the resources and we cannot educate all the kids to the level. >> host: dennis van roekel on the inefficiencies that it brings up in the educational system. >> guest: when we do international comparisons our system is very different. most of them are centralized and they have one agency of government that controls or directs all of the schools. ours is very complex. we have a federal government with a lot of rules and regulations and 9% of the resources. we have 50 additional states and 50 additional school system so it is a complex system. i think it's going to remain so what we need to do is to figure out how to make that more effective than it is right now. within that i think the key to that is collaboration.
of all of those distinct parts are working together it makes it very difficult to do with what's in the best interest of the student. to me the solution in this complex system is to focus on that student and say what is it that he or she needs and what are the obstacles to stop them from succeeding and then through collaboration say what can we do with the resources at the local state and federal level to do that? we will never solve the problems of this complex system if we don't take the time to sit down at the table and collaborate. it just won't happen. >> host: pegs outlook on twitter schools are not equal and should not provide equal opportunities for education. windermere florida's next, victor is a teacher. good morning you were on with dennis van roekel. >> caller: good morning. i'm a retired teacher in florida and when i started teaching i started in virginia. i was a tenured teacher. i worked for 30 years and i got my retirement. when i retired i was treated
very well. teachers here in florida are being dismissed every day area they don't have tenure. they have no continuing contract. they have no protection. i was substituting in florida and one lady told me she had a ph.d.. she was making $70,000 a year. she got up at a valuation. she was dismissed and she said the principal told her the reason the school system is going to dismiss you as they can hire to right out of college for what we are paying you. so teachers going into education today in certain states should be aware that they are not going to get any protection. they are not going to get any benefits. they are not going to be treated like other professionals. they are not going to be treated like a doctor. they are not going to be treated like engineer. you can expect that you are not going to get that kind of compensation. you are going to work long hours and then when they see that you are getting close to retirement they are going to find a way to get rid of you so you don't get your benefits.
that's what's wrong with education today and that is what i told my son i do not want you going into education and thank god he didn't. >> host: victor can i ask are you a member of a teachers union? >> guest: not at the present time parameter retired teacher. >> host: were you when you talk and where these issues prevalent throughout your time as a teacher? >> guest: no, it just started when they did away with tenure laws when i was teaching in virginia. it was just a convenient way to get rid of good teachers for budgetary purchases so they could balance the budget. why space him on $70,000 when you can pay to teachers 35. they were hiring people without college degrees and telling them they had three years to get a degree and they were teaching in the classroom. >> guest: victor brings up two really important points. one is that he gives examples of how good teachers can be dismissed for the wrong reason. the other thing he brings up is so important to me individually
and my organization is that the professionalization of teaching. what we are saying is that people are calling for less and less training. they want more and more turnover and all of that makes the profession less desire for people to come in. the department of education estimates we are going to need about 1.5 million teachers over the next decade. that's a lot of individuals and we have to compete with all the other professions that require similar education. you can't do mean anti-professionalized a profession and think you are going to be able to make it in the competitive game of getting people in. so i think the way to do it is to set high standards, make it a very profession that people want to go into and then you'll have obviously more people who want and then you need and that's actually a good thing. because it says you are doing something right in the profession. i agree with victor, we need to protect the profession and we
need to protect good teachers from being fired for the wrong reason. >> host: time for a couple more calls her last five minutes with dennis van roekel the outgoing president of the national education association. when does your term officially and? >> guest: august 31. >> host: mary is up next in cornwall new york. mary is apparent. >> caller: yes, when i went to school each state has their own educational districts i mean each state has their own educational department and at that time new york was number one. they had the highest. >> host: mary can i ask when this was? the time you are talking about? >> caller: before the second world war. >> host: go ahead, mary. >> caller: well, maybe they could do that. the states would be competing with each other to see who could do the best with the teachings
in the schools like they had back then. >> guest: you know, i like that. gary, i appreciate your comments about education and. >> caller: before my kids went to school i myself atop them to know their letters and their numbers and alphabets before they went to kindergarten. >> guest: it makes a real difference. >> host: i sent them to parochial school and it seems to parochial schools are doing well today. why do we see how the parochial schools were? >> guest: there are a lot of good schools out there but parochial and public and private. the secret and a challenge to us is to be able to create those schools everywhere. one of the previous callers talk about the international scene and for example finland who is often held up a such a good system. but they really stress is equity. they want every school to be as good as the other.
that is a goal that i wish we had in the united states. we have such disparity between one school in the next. i think the real secret to success as a nation is it really shouldn't matter where you live or your zip code. when you go to the school in your neighborhood kids to school and it is equipped both with the programs and the resources and the quality of workforce there to enable any and every student to do the best of their ability. that to me is the definition of success in a public school system. >> host: lakewood washington is next. daddy is a teacher. betty good morning. >> caller: good morning. thanks for having the program and i really enjoy c-span. the issues we are dealing with in my district and i'm sure the person the country we are having to teach to the common core standards and we are not given a current curriculum to deal with that. by the time -- in the next two
years we would have had that curriculum for 14 years. the other issue i deal with is we have so much political involvement of our legislature make decisions on what we should or shouldn't do in our schools and although private interest as well. they sponsor charter schools over the past couple of years. they failed the first couple of times in the last election that we had a charter school initiative election for the state are you we just don't have the controls in our schools that we would like to see and that the charter schools have. that is all i would like to say. thank you. >> host: charter schools in common core two issues we haven't gotten into yet. you have about the last minute and 30 seconds or so. >> guest: common core standards we have been very supportive of him. i don't believe you can have an
equitable system if you don't have high standards for all students but what betty mentioned as one of the problems of implementation. they need time. they need time to develop or find curriculum that is aligned with the standards. they need time to explain to parents in time to explain to students and most of all they need time to collaborate with each other. when we pulled our members math teachers want to talk with each other to say how do we make these new standards come alive in our classroom? that's a huge issue. the political involvement is frustrating as an educator when people outside of education elite that they know exactly what i have to do in the classroom as a teacher. .. are something that i think are essential. if we do not do it right, my greatest fear is that we will lose them. it is just too important that we do this right. roekel beganvan